Worker’s legs crushed in serious accident

A castings firm has been fined £10,000 after a man’s legs were crushed in an accident at work when a one-tonne mould swung into him.

Robert Easton, from Falkirk, had more than 35 years’ experience in foundry work when the incident occurred at Specialised Castings Limited’s premises in Denny, Stirlingshire on 27 May 2011.

How the work accident happened

Mr Easton was preparing a two-part mould, each half of which weighed around a tonne and was trying to turn over one half in order to make the top part.

Having looped lifting chains around lower pivot points on either side of the casting box, he used the control panel of a crane to elevate it.

But when he stood in front of the box it swung towards him as it turned, striking him below the knees and crushing him between the casting box and a cast iron platform.

The mould then swung away before swinging back in to strike him again, albeit with considerably less force the second time around.

Injury required surgery

X-rays revealed that Mr Easton, who was 56 at the time, had broken both of his legs below the knee and his ankle had been shattered.

Metal pins and rods were surgically inserted but he endured a difficult recovery and needed to undergo further surgery, including muscle and skin grafts, in June and July 2011.

Mr Easton now has a large amount of scarring on both of his lower legs and on his thigh and back.

Management of health and safety ‘inadequate’

A number of failures in the way the firm managed health and safety were identified in an investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

No specific failings were noted in relation to the incident in question, but the HSE provided advice on the provision of additional training and supervision.

The need for additional support or training should have been identified by bosses at the company, the HSE said, given that Mr Easton had previously told his managers of his concerns about lifting heavy moulds.

Specialised Castings Limited, of Headswood Mill in Denny, was fined after it pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.

Meanwhile, anyone who has concerns about health and safety at work can contact Accident Advice Helpline for expert help from specialist lawyers.

Source: STV News

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